[This topic with five tips to help you grow on Pinterest may contain affiliate links for which I receive a commission at no cost to you. I only recommend products I use and trust.]
Pinterest has always been a background character for me when it came to driving traffic. My Pinterest audience was small when I started and I couldn’t figure out how to grow on Pinterest. I was getting no clicks and my views were stuck in the low thousands. My followers, the few I had were stalled too.
The main reason for that was that I didn’t quite understand how it all worked. I had a ton of questions about what seemed like basic stuff that everyone else had somehow figured out. If I wanted to grow on Pinterest, I knew I’d have to figure this out. These were simple questions too.
Was I supposed to pin something once and hope it took off or pin things over and over and hope the law of numbers worked in my favor? Also, if the latter, how were these people pinning every 5 minutes? Did they devote their entire life to seeking to grow on Pinterest? On top of that, what topics actually did well?
There were a ton of other questions. Was I supposed to pin my own stuff or other’s people stuff too? What was the best way to make quality pins without spending money. How about my own boards, did I have too many? Was I joining the right group boards?
I wanted to go into 2019 with a better idea of how to succeed on Pinterest. It took me a while but I think I’m starting to crack the code to grow on Pinterest. At least, the numbers are finally starting to look solid. In the last 30 days, I’ve grown my monthly views at a rapid pace as evidenced below.
On December 28th, I had 50k viewers with 1.3k engaged, a number that took months to build up.
Then something happened. I started to see growth, slow at first but then much faster. On January 26th, 30 days later, I sat at 193.8k views with 7.4k engaged. That’s a 3.9x growth in viewers but better yet a 5.6x growth in engagements! The strategies I started to implement towards the latter part of the year were working! In the last month, Pinterest has gone from driving a few clicks a month to one of my best sources of traffic.
That’s something I can get behind and shows the value of your ability to grow on Pinterest and how it translates into traffic growth. So what changed? After all, I’ve been using Pinterest for a few months with poor results.
What changed was my approach to Pinterest and the tools I used for it. I hadn’t been doing it all wrong but I certainly missed a lot. It took me a few months to learn these lessons and implement new strategies. However, you can learn how to do that in a tiny fraction of the time it took me and learn how to grow on Pinterest by reading these tips.
Be aware that this is a pretty long post but hopefully the info here will take your Pinterest account to another level! Let’s get started gang!
Tip #1 – Convert to a business account
This is a simple step but maybe one of the most important ones. Most Pinterest accounts are personal accounts when created.
However, Pinterest recommends a conversion to a business account if you’re using Pinterest as a means to drive traffic. I am so clearly it made sense to convert. Personal accounts have some benefits but they miss the most important one; analytics!
The conversion is very easy and free. See here for directions on how to do it. It’s also easy to link your website to Pinterest for improved tracking and I recommend doing that as well.
What does a business account do for you? It gives you access to a wealth of knowledge about your pins and your boards. That’s important because without proper metrics, it’s impossible to tell what works and what doesn’t.
The analytics page comes with a bevy of important info including graphs like the one near the start of this post. You can see your best performing pins, your best performing boards and a lot more!
That’s important because that data is KEY in achieving a few of the other tips.
Tip #2 – Be active daily and post strategically
Pinterest is a bit of a numbers game. There are people out there that really do post every 5 minutes. It’s hard to get noticed if you’re only posting once a day.
It’s possible you’ll get a good viewer base from that if your pins are A+ and your content is awesome but it’s unlikely.
That’s evidenced by the fact that 99% of your pins will get next to no views. You can see that clearly in your analytics(thanks business account).
The reality is that a good portion of your monthly views and engagement will come from a small % of your pins.
That doesn’t mean you should spam Pinterest with 100s of the same post in a week thinking one of them will hit. Pinterest frowns on that and will ban you for spamming.
However, it does mean that in order to have value on Pinterest, you have to post at a reasonable clip.
What’s the right number? It’s hard to gauge but I find that 40-60 pins a day has worked well for me. I was posting well below that number before December and really saw an uptick when I hit that sweet spot. I suppose posting even more could help but I don’t have the time to find or create good content to go far above that. Again, I want my boards to have quality content, not be spam fest 2019.
Now the question is, what am I posting? It’s a combination of my own pins leading to my website and pins I find interesting. I would estimate the ratio of these pins is slanted towards other pins rather than my own.
That’s because I simply don’t have enough quality pins to post 40 pins a day nor do I want to spam boards with the same pins. Besides, Pinterest is a social network to share cool stuff.
Your followers want a variety of things to check out, not just your own stuff, as good as it may be. Posting other’s pins is a good way to attract new followers which will help with views and re-pins of your own pins in the long run. This is a social network, if you want to grow on Pinterest, you have to be social!
The problem with a big posting schedule is that 40-60 pins a day can be tough if you’re doing it manually. It’s doable but will certainly take a lot of time. That’s especially true if you want to space out your pins as you should. You don’t want to post all 40 pins at 9 A.M. in the morning since that’s spam and limits your audience. You want to space them out across the day.
That’s where Tailwind comes in and it’s awesome. Tailwind is an automated pinning service that allows you to schedule pins and automatically posts them to Pinterest on a set schedule. I use Tailwind for the majority of my pins and it makes using Pinterest a breeze.
Tailwind allows you to easily design your own schedule, choose pins to post and automatically posts them for you at a given time. Here’s what today’s schedule looks like for me.
Tailwind makes it easy to manage your pins via the creation of board lists and even automatic looping via the recently released smart loop.
Board lists are exactly what they sound like. I can create a list with boards related to a certain topic and easily post to all those boards with a few clicks. Smart Loop is a new feature which allows you to essentially automate posting and loops certain pins to assigned boards on a set schedule. It’s a very cool way to be as efficient as possible when using Pinterest.
Another great part of Tailwind are tribes which are groups you can join with people of similar interest. There you can find content to pin to your own boards and also share your best pins for others to re-pin.
It’s a great way to get your content seen and shared by others. Getting others to re-pin your stuff is key in increasing viewers and tribes is a great help with that.
You can definitely see the results in my data. Tailwind also gives you some great analytics like the data below. It’s quite interesting that my growth coincides with the increase in re-pins.
This isn’t a Tailwind centered post so I won’t go into too much detail on it here. However, I do love the platform as it makes interest growth easier. I think it’s a big reason I’m doing so well with it. If you’d like to give it a try, you can get a free trial of 100 pins using this link.
Tailwind does have a cost associated with it and there are additional buy ups for Tribes and SmartLoop if you want to expand usability. However, even the base product is totally worth it and it’s the only service I pay for when it comes to blog promotion.
Beyond Tailwind, I think it’s important to use the actual platform in order to get visibility by the Pinterest algorithm.
I have no access to supporting data but believe, through personal experience, that Pinterest rewards those who actively use the platform in more ways that one.
Pinning via Tailwind works but it’s not the only thing I do. I use the phone app to share pins, pin via the website and also pin interesting articles from web pages I visit during the day. That’s the strategic part of things because you want to expose yourself to as much possible traffic as you can. Tailwind tribes give you that but there’s also other great stuff out there that your followers will want. Sometimes, you can only find that via the website itself.
The other part of the strategy is timing. You want to make sure you’re not flooding the same board with the same pin over and over. That means if you post something to a board, don’t post it again for at least 7 days.
Tailwind makes that easy as it can be hard to track when posting manually. If I’m scheduling something to my board lists, I generally give it a 8-12 hour time interval meaning Tailwind will schedule that post every 8 or 12 hours. That means any given pin is posted to Pinterest 2-3 times a day at most and since my board lists are 20-40 boards per topic, it means the same board won’t see the same pin for at least 10 days most times. That kind of variety is key in order to grow on Pinterest.
It’s important because Pinterest and board viewers like variety and don’t want to see the same thing over and over. Since we’re talking about boards and pins, let’s move on to tip #3.
Tip #3 – Manage your pins and boards efficiently
The first step on your Pinterest journey should be to create personal boards and join some group boards. Personal boards are your own boards that contain only your own posted content. You can call them whatever and I don’t think name matters much. My most popular board is called frugal. I do think unique board descriptions help as does having a profile picture.
Group boards are created by people and allow contributors to submit their content and are often topic focused. Here’s one of my recent creations as an example.
Some group boards are small and focused while others have a massive follower base and no restrictions. Generally, you can find group boards by following people in your niche, seeing their boards and sending invite requests to the people that run them. Half the time, you won’t get a response so either move on or try again.
Now that you’ve started, have a bunch of boards and are posting 40+ pins a day via various ways, what should you focus on when it comes to boards.
I thought group boards were what you should focus on when I started because you get often get access to so many potential viewers. However, I no longer think that’s the case. I still think that group boards are worth joining so don’t ignore them. They’re still a good way to find content to share and can be used to share your own content and allow your pins to find a different audience.
However, my data suggests that the Pinterest algorithms seem to favor personal boards when sharing to other people’s home pages. Here’s some data of my top 10 boards from the Pinterest analytics page for the last 30 days.
You can see that my most successful boards are personal boards with a low amount of pins.
Group boards are still good, lead to impressions and clicks but the number is often much lower. That’s because group boards are often spammed with content every few minutes and that makes it difficult to get your stuff seen.
However, you control your personal boards and control the content that goes there. I believe Pinterest knows this and rewards users who have solid personal boards by pushing their items towards the front page.
That’s the beauty of Pinterest to me and why I’m starting to love it over other social networks. You don’t even need a ton of followers to get a ton of views and clicks because it all depends on what Pinterest pushes to users’ front pages. My frugal board has 331 followers and yet has generated over 2000 clicks in the last 30 days. That’s awesome and shows that you don’t need to grow your followers to huge levels to grow on Pinterest.
I think the reason for that is two fold. First, I post high quality content to that board and second, I manage that board and other boards to maximize the potential of my items being seen by people.
Let’s talk about managing pins and boards because that part can be confusing. The Pinterest business account gives you access to analytics data on each board. Here’s my frugal board for you to see with the data below each pin.
You can see the number of eyeballs that have touched each pin, the number of re-pins and the number of clicks. That data is incredibly useful because I firmly believe that Pinterest rewards boards that have a good eyeball/re-pin/click to pin ratio.
That means if my board is filled with crap that no one clicks, Pinterest will quickly send it to the depths of hell never to be seen by anyone again. I’ll be pinning more and more but no one will see that stuff.
However, if I manage that board in order to improve that ratio and combine it with high quality pins, I might find myself on somebody’s front page. You can easily do that by deleting under performing pins from any of your own personal boards. I don’t bother with group boards since they’re so large.
Luckily, Pinterest makes it very easy to manage your boards. You simply hit the organize button, select any pins you want removed and you can delete up to 50 pins at a time.
The reality is that posting 40-60 pins a day will mean many of them are duds. As I said, Pinterest is a bit of a numbers game. However, letting those duds rest on your board may have a negative impact to future pins on that board.
Sometime in December, I started going back to some of my boards, scrolling all the way down to the bottom and deleting the ones with almost no views.
You definitely want to start at the bottom and you don’t want to do this too often. That’s because pins can have a long lifespan. I’ve seen pins I posted a week ago or longer suddenly take off so please don’t do this daily. It’s not a good use of your time and these tips are all about efficiency. I think once a month per personal board should be enough.
The same theory of deleting also applies to certain boards themselves. The reality is that many of us probably have boards that suck for various reasons. We might not be posting to them enough or they’re just not getting any traction no matter what you do.
Tailwind has a good insight tool that shows you the number of re-pins and how viral your boards have been.
Using that data or the data from your Pinterest business account, you can figure out which boards need to trim some under performing pins.
However, sometimes, even with pin management, these boards go nowhere. In the last month, I’ve deleted about 7 boards that essentially had 0 re-pins and will likely delete a few more stragglers. I want to minimize the number of work I do and focus on boards that are doing well.
Pinterest rewards good boards, the data proves it. I don’t know the algorithms behind it but it certainly seems that pin and board management is key in order for your boards to be considered good.
Now, that’s great an all but what about if all your pins aren’t performing well? It’s important to remember that Pinterest is a visual medium above all else. People won’t click on things that aren’t appealing so you’ve got to get your design hat on!
Tip #4 – Design quality pins and try again if you fail
This should be an obvious one, make pins that don’t suck. The reality is that as Pinterest grows, so do the number of users with good design skills. That makes it a more competitive landscape.
However, if you look at some group boards, there’s still a lot of ugly stuff out there. Sure, a lot of it is subjective but maybe if your pins are doing well, the quality is a problem. Hell, when I started my pins were atrocious and it took me a while to realize that.
It wasn’t until I found an easy way to get professional looking designs that things started to take off.
That way is through Canva. Canva is a great design platform that allows you to create high quality vertical Pinterest graphics for free. They have a ton of pre-made designs you can modify to fit your needs. There are some paid features on the website but I’ve never used them personally.
The best part is that Canva is very easy to use and is very flexible in what you can do with it. For example, here’s one of my better performing pins that uses a pre-made free design with modified text.
It’s simple, has an interesting tag line and looks nice. I get clicks and saves from that pin every single day. It looks like I spent a bit of time on it but it took me less than a minute to make that.
The problem with Canva is that sometimes the designs can be a bit limiting. On top of that, since many people are using them, you’ll have a pin that looks exactly like a thousand other pins on Pinterest.
However, like I said, Canva is very flexible! It allows you to take a template, upload your own picture and replace the one used in the pre-made design. That way you get the professional looking font and design with a unique picture of your own.
It’s always better to have something that differentiates you from thousands of other users. You can use standard Canva designs and pictures but you’ll have much better luck going the unique route if you’re trying to grow on Pinterest.
Here, the design is simple and looks good, there’s a tagline and an image of a woman reading. It takes me a few minutes to put that together since it’s a Canva design with a picture switch and the results are great. Sometimes, I’ll even reuse the same design with a different picture.
Here’s another one with over 11k views in that format. It’s the same design but a different picture. Again, takes no time at all to design and the results are solid.
When designing pins, it’s important to know your audience. The best way to figure that out is to see what successful people in your niche are doing. Another good way is to look at some of your Pinterest analytics as you have a business account now.
For example, my analytics tell me that my audience is interested in finance, health, food and education. If I want to dive deeper, the finance audience is interested mainly in financial planning. My audience is mainly 18-44 and primarily(75%+ women).
In fact you can even look at the overall Pinterest audience to get ideas about blog posts. Again, the audience here is 75% women and interested in DIY and crafts, home decor, education and entertainment.
That means that your pins have to target the audience that’s actually using Pinterest and sometimes it takes a while to figure out what works. It’s important to learn that if you want to grow on Pinterest, think of your audience and what they might want to see. What worked in the past and what’s working for other users? It’s key to try new things when starting to figure out what does well.
Take a look at the pin I designed for this post. It’s got a professional looking picture with a pleasant aesthetic, uses color well to stand out and has a strong call to action that references the current year. That gives the feeling of this pin being current and also clearly illustrates my success using these tips. It also has a design that evokes feelings of the current season(winter) with marshmallows, a largely white background and some cocoa powder.
I think it’s a nice design and hope it’ll do well but we shall see!
That brings me to the second part of this tip; try again!
Here’s a scenario; you design a pin, think it’s good and send it out to the world. You’re excited, this is the one that will kill! You wait a few weeks, look at the analytics and see that it’s a total failure. Does that mean you should give up? No, it means, you should try that post with a different pin.
For example, remember my beginner investing books pin above? Well, it’s my second try for that post and it began with this pin for the same post. That’s a standard canva pin with no adjustments. It was fine, the design was clean and I thought it’d do well. However, it barely got any views nor did it get a lot of clicks. Why? Well, let’s take a look at the two side by side?
You’ve got a comfortable woman reading a book with a good tagline on the left side. How does that compare to a boring table on the right side. Which one would you rather click? More importantly, which is the audience of Pinterest likely to click?
The data proves that the left wins out. I wouldn’t have gotten a ton of views on that post if I simply gave up and didn’t try again.
That’s the reality of Pinterest. Sometimes, things work and sometimes thing’s don’t. However, if the content you want to share is good, you should keep trying. It’s might nob be a bad idea to create two pins for each post right away, include both in the post and see which one does better.
One thing to keep in mind is that it’s often impossible to tell what will work and what won’t. I have pins that I think are killer that do nothing and ones that are relatively bland that do well.
It’s not always crystal clear whether a pin will be successful. However, what is clear, is that trying again when things fail can often resurrect a post that you thought was dead.
That brings us to the last tip and perhaps the most important one if you want to grow on Pinterest.
Tip #5 – Be patient, be reasonable, and keep improving
Pinterest is a popular site which means there’s a lot of people competing for clicks out there. However, I found that it is the one that’s most rewarding when it comes to actually driving clicks to your website.
I use Facebook, Twitter and more and spend the same amount of time on those as on Pinterest. Despite all that, those bring a fraction of the traffic that Pinterest does.
Pinterest is actually my favorite social media marketing experience too. I don’t mind designing the pins or playing around in Tailwind. It tickles that creative side of me that I don’t get to use often and that’s pretty fun!
However, it takes time. It takes time to learn how to create pins that work, and how to manage your boards. It takes time to learn your and Pinterest’s audience and to start building a following. Hopefull, this post gets you there faster than I did because it took me a while to figure this stuff out.
I started using Pinterest months ago. However, my viewers rarely went above 40k and my traffic was low. I’m at a better place now. However, I’m still a small fish in a big pond and know I have room to grow. My follower count increases every day(457 as of today) and my traffic grows every month.
The reality is that it may take more than 30 days to get where I am. These are my actual results but the reality is that it can often take longer than that to see results. Tailwind also publishes the typical results of a Tailwind user on their blog so you can see what the average member experience there is as well.
I know that if I want to grow on Pinterest, whether it’s views or followers, I have to be active, create quality pins and manage them well. There’s services like Tailwind that can make that a lot easier but it still requires some leg work from you.
You also have to be reasonable about your niche and what Pinterest can do for you. There are certain things that work well on there and others that work less well due to the user demographics. It takes time to figure that out.
As with all things, the more you use Pinterest, the more you’ll improve. It takes a while to get to a point where you begin to understand how Pinterest works. And more importantly, what works on Pinterest. I can’t give you all the answers but hopefully these tips get you started. You can grow on Pinterest but you have to commit and be consistent.
I think the various websites I linked especially Tailwind are a great help in making this strategy work for you. Can you do it without them? Sure, but prepare to spend a lot more time for potentially poorer results. I’m all about efficiency and Tailwind helps me be a more efficient, successful Pinterest user.
I do highly recommend Tailwind and again you can sign up for a free trial of 100 pins right here.
If you have any more questions about how you can grow on Pinterest, you can reach out to me on Pinterest. My profile is right here.
One final tip, when creating content, make sure to post your Pinterest graphic somewhere in your post. It can either be in the middle if it doesn’t disrupt the flow or at the very end or both! You can potentially also make two separate pin designs and put them both in the post. Get crazy!
That way people can easily pin your stuff from the page! Adding a plugin that makes pinning easy is helpful too! Anything that will help your viewers share your pins will be good for you in the long run.
Thanks for reading and let me know how these strategies work for you. Please let me know if you have any other advice for me and my readers too. I always love to learn new things and my readers do as well!